Chancellor Florida State Poets Association
Florida Poet Laureate Volusia County
Winner of 2011 American Poet Prize
Rate My Professor:
Do not take her. She makes you
talk no matter where you sit.
I greeted you at the door, another mother’s
child delivered. You looked away as if a lamb
had been slain. Your early sounds parsed, seeds
seeking ground—then whole thoughts crowned.
Ridiculous grader. She actually reads
your work instead of the deserved A.
So hard to put a score on this—this wrestling with
your age. Rubrics hold out such promise—then fold,
fade. Instead of systems: a new thought, like a starling
transporting a golden bough, was what we praised.
I didn’t come here to read ancient epics, poems, plays.
Remind me again how this gets an engineer employed?
Leaving Troy, Odysseus had one thing—Ithaca—in mind.
The gods gave him their scales: slay the proud boy in you
and die a king regaled. A cyclops, sirens, a bard spared among
suitors to sing your tale. All of them pleading: Set sail. Set sail.
Copyright © 2022 M. B. McLatchey. All rights reserved.
Published in Sky Island Journal, Issue #23, Winter 2023.
From the editors: [This poem] spoke to us immediately. Intensely personal yet wildly accessible, it transports and challenges us in ways that poems seldom do. This powerful, vulnerable, tapestry of human landscape is a meditation on the presence of absence and the absence of presence, and it bears fruit in such beautiful and unexpected ways... The elegance of your craft, and “Rate My Professor: A Rebuttal,” are two gifts that keep on giving; we discover more about them, and ourselves, with every reading.